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There are many Great Barrier Reef tour operators. We went with a snorkeling tour and a semi-submersible tour from Quicksilver Cruises (map, reviews, website).
The tour starts in Port Douglas and pick-ups from hotels in Cairns and Port Douglas are available.
Besides snorkeling and the semi-sub, there are also an underwater observatory, scuba diving and ocean walking activities.
The underwater world in the Great Barrier Reef is fantastic, but don’t expect to see the super-clear water and colorful fish and corals that professionally made videos and brochures show. The reef is damaged and you will be brought to already damaged areas and you will share the water with many other people. The most beautiful parts of the Great Barrier Reef are off-limits to tourists for a very good reason and that is to protect what is left of this natural wonder.
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Our Australia Travel Guide has detailed information about the individual destinations, links to their locations in google maps, reviews and websites (if available).
Please see the Backpack & Snorkel Travel Store for more information.
The semi-sub showed less impressive sea life.